Summer 2022 Newsletter
Recent news, events, and useful information from the
Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association
As attorneys admitted to practice in the Northern District of New York, we have the responsibility to promote justice and to make justice equally accessible to all people. While Local Civil Rule 83.3 requires permanently admitted attorneys to accept assigned pro bono cases, the optimist in me believes that the primary reason that attorneys take on such work is that it’s the right thing to do. Last year, more than 30 members of our bar accepted appointment to represent at least one civil litigant with a filed case in our Court – for no compensation. I want to thank these past and present volunteers for their willingness to help others secure access to the judicial system.

Featured Photo
United States Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel and his law clerk Ariel Shuster participate as panelists at an FCBA-sponsored career event held in April at Albany Law School. United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino was also a panelist, and FCBA President Adam Katz delivered opening remarks.
One of the little-known but perhaps most critical duties of the Clerk’s Office is to collect, administer and disburse restitution payments to victims of criminal conduct.  This is no small task. Over the past three and a half years, the Northern District of New York has disbursed more than $8,471,000 to more than 13,221 victims.

Sometimes I worry that people do not understand the depth of what we do and our commitment to it.

I only knew John for about twenty to twenty-five minutes, but I will never forget his light brown dress belt.

These were also the very last minutes of his life.

The legal status of cannabis has undergone significant change in recent years. Over the past decade, 18 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational cannabis use in some capacity. Michael Hartman, Cannabis Overview, Nat’l Conf. of State Legis. (July 6, 2021). Among those states is New York, which enacted the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”) in early 2021. In many of these states, thriving cannabis industries have emerged, and many of these industries are seeking legal representation. Yet, cannabis remains illegal under federal law. What does this mean for practicing attorneys? The reality is that we don’t know, and attorneys who take on these representations face the risk of substantial legal changes, many of which could significantly affect the attorney-client relationship. This article offers four steps that attorneys can take to help them navigate this significant change in the legal landscape.

We are accepting applications for an attorney to work, on a part-time basis, with the FCBA’s Pro Se Assistance Program. This is a paid position.

The Pro Se Assistance Program was established to assist non-incarcerated litigants, who are representing themselves in federal court, with preparing and drafting their papers in support or defense of a civil action filed, or to be filed, in the Northern District of New York. The Pro Se Assistance Program is staffed by two attorneys, one in the Capital District and the other in Central New York. This posting is for the Capital District position.

The FCBA’s Pro Se Assistance program has been viewed by other Districts across the country as a model program. The Pro Se Attorneys do not advise or represent the litigants, nor do they appear in court with the litigants. Their sole function is to assist individuals with the processes and procedures of filing pro se in the NDNY.

For a full description of the qualifications and compensation, please see the full job posting here. Interested applicants should email a resume and cover letter to Adam J. Katz, Esq., FCBA President, at

The Fifth Edition of this amazingly comprehensive treatise is an 18-volume definitive work on business litigation in federal courts, authored by 373 attorneys including many present and former members of the judiciary. Although the Fourth Edition was published in 2016, this new edition adds a stunning 26 new chapters. It reflects the rapid pace at which commercial law, business litigation and the practice of law has changed.

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